It stood as a basic assumption in Hebrew minds that God’s sense of timing was not like theirs. In the ancient protocol of the Divine Sheikh’s court, asking “how long” did not mean for them what it means to us. It was rather like asking if God intended to put up with something; was there an endpoint? Did God intend to act eventually or should they get used to it?
It was also assumed He would act on the grounds that this was His domain and He wouldn’t let someone else abuse His people. Ancient Near Eastern feudalism was about people, generally a sense of familial kinship between the ruler and His real treasure, his household. A final paramount issue was His divine reputation. Was He going to let them insult Him this way?
It seems almost certain the psalmist refers to domestic troubles arising from bad leadership, and not some foreign oppressor. He opens with a reference to Jehovah as the God of vengeance; saying it twice adds dramatic emphasis. If there is to be revenge, it must come from the throne of God. It is His prerogative alone. Let the God who avenges shine like the morning sun! He, who is the final moral authority of all Creation, let Him blast with withering glory to expose the arrogant who dare to usurp His authority.
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